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Chelsea and Tottenham striking issues laid bare in friendly draw


The twin sagas offer a snapshot of the contrasting moods at the rivals ahead of the new season, with Kane expected to slink back to Spurs reluctantly this week, while Lukaku could return to Stamford Bridge to huge fanfare.

If Chelsea complete a record-breaking deal for the Belgian, he promises to complete a side who toyed with Spurs for an hour before their intensity waned with a raft of second-half changes.

The Blues looked a class apart as they controlled possession but there was a familiar lack of a focal point from a fluid front three of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, who scored either side of half-time.

The Belgian would add another dimension to the Blues, furnishing Tuchel’s European champions with both a poacher and a player capable of holding up the ball.

The head coach refused to be drawn on links with Lukaku while he remains on Inter Milan’s books, saying only that he was a “fantastic player”, but pointedly acknowledged that Chelsea are lacking a true centre-forward since Olivier Giroud’s departure.

“We could use a player used to play with their back to goal, whose strength is to keep possession from long balls so we can add this direct style of play to our portfolio,” Tuchel said.

“This is the characteristic of player that is not Tammy [Abraham], Timo or Kai, so this is a profile we don’t have in the squad.”

With Lukaku, Chelsea might have finished Spurs sooner and even after Tuchel introduced a host of forgotten players, including Tiemoue Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta, the Blues were wasteful, with Spurs debutant Pierluigi Gollini making a string of saves.

By contrast, the return of Kane to this Spurs squad would only continue to paper over the many cracks and for the opening 45 minutes it was easy to see why the striker is desperate to force his way out this summer. Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura deputised through the middle, while Nuno Espirito Santo’s three-man midfield was overrun, with Dele Alli particularly struggling with N’Golo Kante.


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